Yesterday, was Karva Chauth -my second- which is a festival/fast celebrated with much enthusiasm across North India. It is mostly kept my married women for the long life of their husbands.
The day starts before sunrise, where women shower and eat sargi, which is usually prepared by their mother in law, and consist of sweets, coconut and also clothes. My dad is really sweet and he always wakes up with my mom and they eat together. My friends have hubbies, who keep the fast with them, which I think is really cute.
Once the sun rises, the fast is observed and the strictest do not consume any food until they have seen the moon to break the fast. Nowadays however many drink a glass or juice or have tea and fruits once during the day.
In the afternoon, ladies go for the katha, which is the story of how the fast came to be. For this everyone dresses up in colorful traditional attire, and bring along their thalis. The thalis or plates are decorated and hold one diya made out of flour, a glass or karva filled with water, and a sweet. Beyond these items, it depends which part of the country you are from and your plate would look a little bit different. Since Maharashtrians don’t observe this fast, I follow what my mom does, and put fruits and dry fruits on the plate along with money that will give to my mother in law at the end of the day.
Once the story has been read, the decorated plates are rotated among them seven times. After this those who want usually have a glass of tea and fruits or juice.
You are supposed to cook at least a little and it is supposed to be a whole grain, to signify the bond of the marriage. I made cholle puris, and they turned out really good. Also the fact that I was hungry must have definitely played into it.
At night, once the moon is sighted, you look through a sieve at the moon, and pour water towards it seven times, and then look at your husband through the same. He then makes you drink a sip of the water and a bite of the sweet to break your fast.
The moon sighting was supposed to be at 8:45 in Mumbai, but I did not see it until 10:00. I had however given up on seeing it much earlier and broke the fast by pretending the moon was in the sky. Everything else was according to plan, except the moon. Oh well…next year.